It Started with a Kiss (1959): Screwball Comedy, Starring Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds

George Marshall directed It Started with a Kiss, a CinemaScope screwball comedy, starring Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds–and a grand red car.

Ford plays Joe Fitzpatrick, an Air Force staff sergeant and Korean War veteran, who works hard to convince his dancer wife Maggie that their marriage is working.

While Joe is posted to Spain, back in New York, his wife learns that he has won a raffle making them the owners of the custom-built 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car.

The car is delivered to Spain, where it attracts the attention of a young and famous matador (Gustavo Rojo), who makes advances to Maggie while courting Marquesa Marion de la Rey (Eva Gabor).

The car also comes to the attention of Joe’s commanding officer, who insists to ship it back to the States to avoid projecting the image of Americans as too wealthy.  Joe is also told he will owe considerable income tax on the car.

In the end, Joe sells the car to the matador, and he and Maggie are reconciled.

This car was later customized by George Barris and served as the Batmobile for the 1960s TV series Batman.

Tribute to Hawks

The movie recreated a well-known sequence from the 1938 screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby, when Joe must walk in step behind Maggie to hide her torn dress, just as Cary Grant stood behind Katharine Hepburn.

 

Cast
Glenn Ford as Sgt. Joe Fitzpatrick
Debbie Reynolds as Maggie Putnam
Eva Gabor as Marquesa Marion de la Rey
Gustavo Rojo as Antonio Soriano
Fred Clark as Maj. Gen. Tim O’Connell
Edgar Buchanan as Congressman Richard Tappe